Essentials in Church Historyby Joseph Fielding Smith
The need of a history of the Church in one volume that can be used for general reading, and at the same time meet the requirements of a text-book in the priesthood quorums, Church schools and auxiliary organizations, for a long time has been recognized. In the preparation of this volume, all these requirements have been given thoughtful consideration. As the title of the book, Essentials in Church History, implies, the vital and essential points of history and doctrine have been selected, and as far as possible, arranged in chronological order. The doctrines and revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith have been interwoven with the main story of the history in a manner, it is hoped, that will prove to be both interesting and instructive to the casual reader, as well as to the careful student. Moreover, the work has been prepared with the desire that the arrangement of the material will stimulate in the reader a zeal for further research and study of other and more extensive histories, particularly the Documentary History of the Church, in six volumes, which covers the period of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
It is impossible to give, in one volume, in detail all the important incidents in the history of the Church. However, this volume is sent forth on its mission with the hope that it will answer fully the purpose for which it was written.
Grateful appreciation is hereby acknowledged for invaluable assistance given by Dr. John A. Widtsoe, of the council of the twelve, in the preparation of the manuscript. I also desire to express sincere thanks to Elders Edward H. Anderson, J. M. Sjodahl, Andrew Jenson, August William Lund and others, who have so willingly and cheerfully assisted in the preparation of the work.
Joseph Fielding Smith
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